With autumn here, temperatures have begun to dip. This is particularly noticeable in the early morning, evening, and night, when we are more likely to be home and hoping to stay cozy. Before turning to the thermostat to keep things warm, there are some more energy-efficient options that might work just as well.

If we can avoid turning to the HVAC for a while, if we can set the thermostat a little lower this year, then we can collectively make a significant dent in our energy consumption. Less energy consumption, of course, means less reliance on fossil fuels. Fewer fossil fuels means a cleaner, healthier planet. And, all the march goes.

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Even better…well, maybe not better but perhaps more exciting…is that most of these options are much more fun than turning the heating up.

Bake Bread

Overnight no knead bread

Source: Easy No-Knead Overnight Bread

First of all, warm bread from the oven sounds quite heavenly on a chilly evening, or morning. Secondly, while on, the oven acts as a radiator, heating up the space around it and ultimately the room it is. Thirdly, once the bread has finished back, leave the oven door cracked so that the heat from within goes into the room. Of course, cakes, pies, muffins, or roasted potatoes can all serve the same purpose.

Steamy Soup

wild rice soup

Source: Instant Pot Vegan Wild Rice Soup

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As long as there is bread baking, why not make a steamy pot of soup to go along with it. The hot stovetop will incidentally heat the house, as will the steam rising from the pot. Plus, steam adds humidity which will keep things warmer. And, of course, a hot bowl of soup will warm us from within.

Comfy Candlelight

Source: TIME/Youtube

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And, hey, since homemade soup and bread is what’s for dinner, why not make dinner an event with candlelight! While a few candles might not provide the heat of a fireplace, there is fire, and fire does tend to warm things up. For that matter, so do candlelit dinners.

Adjust Curtains

Curtains work best, but blinds can help, too. When the sun is shining in, leave the curtains open, allowing the house to warm up. Then, when the sun goes away, close the curtain or blinds to act as an extra insulator, preventing cold from the windowpane to cool the air inside.

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Reverse Fan

Conveniently, most of those ceiling fans that we use to keep cool in the summer can be reversed to stay warm in the winter. Ceiling fans often have a switch to make them change directions, so the fans will pull warm air from up high and push down into the room.

Snug Rug

Source: But First, Coffee/Youtube

For those with hardwood floors or tiles, these can be very cold, both on your feet as well as ambiently. To combat this, it helps to put out a rug, at least in the winter. The rug will keep the room warmer from the bottom up. It’s simple but sensible.

Dress Well

If it’s cold outside, we dress ourselves to be comfortable when we go out. Likewise, if the temperature is a little cooler inside, it’s much more practical and cost-efficient to dress appropriately than to rely on central air and heat. We don’t need lounge in our undies year-round.

Extra Covers

While lounging is the topic, it only makes sense to up the ante on the throw across the back of the sofa and an extra cover on the bed. Once we are under a blanket, we don’t need the heater warming the air outside the covers, especially on mild autumn nights.

Hot Water Bottle

Source: MrFixIt DIY/Youtube

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Furthermore, if those extra covers and flannel pajama bottoms still aren’t enough, there is always a hot water bottle. Either stick one under the blanket while watching TV on the sofa, or preheat the bed before climbing in for the night.

Warm Mugs

Vegan pumpkin spice latte

Source: Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

It only makes sense that if one is boiling water to fill a hot water bottle anyway, he or she or they should heat up a bit more water for a hot drink. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider, chai, or whatever warm beverage sounds good tonight. A warm mug of something feels great in chilly hands and heats us up from the inside out.

In short, our options for staying warm without the heater are both plentiful and exciting. Hot chocolate! Homemade bread! Candles! Saving pennies on the power bill! Snuggling under a blanket! As if we needed persuasive reasons to keep cozy

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